Business Irish

Saturday 19 October 2019

Davy Byrnes boss plans tennis college at UCD

Businessman Billy Dempsey - who earlier this year bought the iconic Davy Byrnes pub in Dublin - is joining forces with UCD to develop an international Tennis Centre of Excellence at the Belfield campus. Stock image: RTimages/Getty Images
Businessman Billy Dempsey - who earlier this year bought the iconic Davy Byrnes pub in Dublin - is joining forces with UCD to develop an international Tennis Centre of Excellence at the Belfield campus. Stock image: RTimages/Getty Images

Fearghal O'Connor

Businessman Billy Dempsey - who earlier this year bought the iconic Davy Byrnes pub in Dublin - is joining forces with UCD to develop an international Tennis Centre of Excellence at the Belfield campus.

The centre will be part of the current major investment in sport at the college and will feature high-quality indoor and outdoor tennis facilities, with backing from top international coaches.

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Dempsey, who a decade ago sold his medical diagnostics firm Cardiac Services to contractor Sisk, is a key backer of rising Irish tennis star Georgia Drummy.

He has supported her tennis training and development at top US tennis hothouses the Chris Evert Academy in Florida and Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.

Drummy won the Irish Open this year and Dempsey said her rapid rise "proved to me that if you took a kid and put the right structures around them that we Irish could excel at the game".

He is now in discussions with the college about setting up a similar scholarship-based approach for talented young Irish players.

"It is my ambition to work with UCD to help them deliver a Tennis Centre of Excellence," he said. "My vision is to enable every tennis athlete to reach their full potential while pursuing their studies."

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